Pacific Theatre
adapted by Ron Reed from Charles Dickens' novel

Dates and Venue November 29 - December 21, Wed - Sat at 8pm, 2pm matinees Saturdays | Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave.

Director Morris Ertman Choreography Laura Ross Set Designer Drew Facey Costume Designer Julie White Lighting Designer Michael K. Hewitt Sound Design & Original Composition Ben Elliott Stage Manager Victoria Snashall

Reviewer John Jane

Charles Dickens’ tale of redemption has without doubt made old reformed miser Ebenezer Scrooge established seasonal fare, inspiring film variations as diverse as the Emmy award winning George C. Scott’s cynical version to Bill Murray’s bizarre take on a sarcastic television executive in Scrooged.

We can never seem to escape Christmas without being served yet another stage adaptation. Though for originality, you couldn’t go far past Pacific Theatre’s 2015 radio broadcast style reading.

This adaptation by Ron Reed offers a nuanced solo performance by Reed himself in story theatre mode, delivered in a mid-nineteenth century interlocution. He doesn’t even play Scrooge as an individual role, but as the narrator, who, by his dress and demeanour might have lived at a time of the story’s setting. Through Reed’s performance, we witness Scrooge’s redemption and thus, the recuperation of his soul, as he is eventually swayed to change his ways through his re-connection to humanity.

Drew Facey’s economical set is fit-for-purpose, evoking an austere image of old London. Reed does a lot with three wooden crates and sectional semi-transparent drapes depicting Dickensian scenes. Ben Elliott’s sound and composition work provide additional atmosphere to Reed’s storytelling without being intrusive.

Reed’s rugged delivery deftly defines the main characters. Nonetheless, the show does require thoughtful attention. So it may not be entirely suitable for a very young audience.

© 2019 John Jane